Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sharing Footprints -- Passing along our faith

At the end of each day I pray that my children have grown a little more. That they have learned more of God's love for them, and that my own interactions with them have given them a little boost toward that knowledge.

More important than anything else I pass along to my children is a faith in Jesus Christ. More important than character, academics, values, and priorities is the life-altering belief that Jesus died on the cross and rose again, triumphant over death and sin.

I need to seek every opportunity to share this with them. I know I can always do more, so I am never content with what we have already implemented in this area, but these are some choices we have made to ensure this critical topic remains at the core of our family teaching:

- We have a set Bible time to start our school day. We pray (for our own needs, for our friends, and for missionary efforts around the world), memorize a verse together, read from the Bible, talk about the passage, sing, and read from a Christian biography. This sometimes runs long, but we always manage to fit everything else in. However, I know that if I saved it for later I would be tempted to skip parts because it doesn't have to get done, to meet state standards.

- Encourage kids to read the Bible on their own. This is a little newer to the plan. I want it to be a habit, but I want them to have a desire for it as well. If they do it because they have to, I have a feeling that the power of the Word can still work. :-) So, hopefully it will become a desire. They also have various AWANA involvements that have them in the Bible and memorizing.

- Pray when needs arise. Right now we have a fellow homeschool friend who's son is in critical condition in his battle with a brain tumor. When a new update comes through we stop and pray. We don't know the future, but we know we can rest in God's strength, and we can lift up this family as they walk this bumpy trail. I want prayer to become an instant reflex for my kids, not a last resort.

- Look for tender hearts. Sometimes we just don't want to hear it. Other times, we hunger to hear more. I try to stay attentive to my kids' attitudes when deciding how much "preaching" to do. When I sense a heart that is still healing from a recent wound, I keep my words few. When their eyes and arms reach out to me for reassurance, I point them to the One that loves them even more and our interaction lengthens.

There is so much more that could be said on this topic which I can just crack the shell of in a blog post. If you desire greater depth in this aspect of parenthood I would encourage you to read one of these books: Shepherding a Child's Heart, Entrusted with a Child's Heart, Power of a Praying Parent, or The Mission of Motherhood. The Mom's Corner this month shared some more interesting ideas on incorporating Scripture into those recurring sibling arguments as well. I pray that God would lead you with wisdom and His great love as you pass on the truth of the Scriptures to your children.

Up next . . . Rules and Boundaries

For earlier posts in this series: Introduction, Looking in the mirror, suiting up for battle, the unpredictability of the journey, and the joy of parenting.

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